gh burton hartley sam jason screengrab

Image: ABC screenshot

Lindsay Hartley hit the ground running! 

It’s safe to assume that any actress would be nervous about stepping into the black platform boots of General Hospital’s Sam McCall. But when the call went out for a temporary recast of Kelly Monaco’s popular heroine, Lindsay Hartley answered. And this week, only days after being shocked by news of the switch, viewers got to see her in action!

Under the circumstances, you might have expected General Hospital to sort of ease Hartley in, maybe halfway through the episode. But no! After a brief “previously on” segment catching people up on recent events (and featuring several scenes of Monaco’s Sam with Steve Burton’s Jason), Hartley’s Sam literally burst onto the scene to breathlessly fill in Nancy Lee Grahn’s Alexis on recent events.

Later, Sam was summoned to the hospital by Jason for a parole-violating meeting — Have these two never heard of phones? — during which she found out that he planned to give Carly power of attorney. In other words, should end-of-life decisions ever need to be made on Jason’s behalf, his best friend — not his former wife and babymama — would be the one to make them.

Within moments of Hartley’s first appearance, the internet began doing what the internet does: casting judgment. But surprisingly, the twitterverse largely approved of Hartley, perhaps because they knew the situation was only temporary.

What fans were not so thrilled with was Jason’s decision to not only give Carly his power of attorney but do so without so much as consulting Sam. As one might expect, she was not too thrilled with this move, either!

While Jason’s decision made sense on a certain level — it could be seen as him taking a horrible burden off of Sam — fans of the couple definitely bristled. Several referenced the duo’s long history, pointing out that all the way back in 2005, Sam took an ailing Jason to Hawaii so he could die on his own terms. Why, they asked, would she not follow his end-of-life wishes should she be put in that position now?

Others countered that much has changed for the characters over the years, including the fact that they now share a child. In fact, having watched Sonny deal with Mike’s deteriorating condition and have to make painful decisions, Jason explained to Sam that the last thing he wanted was “for Danny to hold you responsible for anything or for you to even have to explain” should the worst come to pass.

But some longtime fans of the couple believe that the show has been working overtime of late to move the characters in opposite directions. They cite the fact that since Steve Burton’s much-ballyhooed 2017 return after a five-year absence, Jason and his favorite lady have spent more time apart than together.

Could this latest twist have been designed as a way to drive a wedge between the supercouple? Already, the conditions of Sam’s parole (as enforced by her much-maligned parole officer, Dolores) have prevented the brunette beauty from spending time with her favorite hit man. (Or so we’re told, despite the formerly-wed pair seeming to share scenes every few days!)

Clearly, Sam was hurt by Jason’s decision, despite his best intentions. With so many other roadblocks put in their path of late, could this really be the beginning of the end for the pair, or is it simply another obstacle for them to overcome? Hit the comments with your thoughts on their relationship, then — if you dare — click the gallery below and weigh in on the Port Charles ladies we think could help Jason move on were he and Sam to call it quits!